The four children of Richard & Anne (née Hill) Shellaker; HANNAH, RICHARD, FRANCIS and THOMAS, were married in 1757, 1763, 1760 and 1762 respectively and records can be found of children produced by some of these marriages. This can be rather confusing so I will include a section of the family tree at the end of this explanation but first a reminder of their marriages, details of which are on the previous page.
[My direct male ancestors are shown in Blue, the female ancestor in Pink.]
1757 – The Marriage of HANNAH Shelacres to Joseph Baker
After their marriage I believe the couple continued to live in Lyndon but I have not researched the various records for their offspring.
1762 – The Marriage of THOMAS Shelacres to Mary Green
After their marriage in November 1762, Thomas and Mary lived in RIDLINGTON in the County of Rutland, where Thomas was employed as a labourer. Records indicate they had at least six children, some of whom lived in Ridlington but also in the Rutland villages of Glaston and Manton for at least five generations. Please follow this link to read their story – The Shelacres and Shillakers of Ridlington, Glaston & Manton.
1763 – The Marriage of RICHARD Shelacres to Mary Marshall
Richard married Mary Marshall in the Leicestershire village of HORNINGHOLD on the 30th October 1763 where they continued to live and raise their family.
But it is the marriage of the third child of Richard and Anne Shelacres which this narrative will now follow as it is his family line which will shortly move this narrative from Lyndon in Rutland to the Leicestershire villages of Tugby and then onto Billesdon.
1760 – The Marriage of FRANCIS Shelacres to Sarah Scott
Francis and Sarah were married in the village church in Lyndon on Sunday 26th May 1760 and it was in that same village they would raise their family.
A First child for Francis & Sarah
Their first child arrived around 17 months after their marriage. The child was a son, baptised on Sunday 11th October 1761, and was named RICHARD. He was my great-great-great grandfather. The record of his baptism is below in the section of the Lyndon Parish records and is the entry which starts on the third line.
1761 – ‘Oct’r 11. Richard, the son of Francis Shel
-acres and Sarah his wife was baptized.”
William III is on the Throne
The Monarch at the time of Richard’s birth was William III, King of Great Britain and King of Ireland. He became King following the death of his father, George II in October 1760, five months after Francis and Sarah were married in Lyndon.
In fact William III’s coronation was in the same month as their first child Richard was baptised, on the 25th of that month. William III was to remain king for most of the next sixty years, although in the latter parts of his reign he was to suffer from permanent mental illness.
The Population Increases
There were two main reasons for this rapid rise in the population; a rise in fertility, but most significantly, a huge drop in mortality. The reduction in mortality was mainly due to the decrease in epidemics and a decrease in the severity of those epidemics, most notably the recurrences of devastating plagues, such as the Bubonic Plague. In these epidemics such as Typhus, small pox and influenza were still relevant but the mortality rate resulting from these diseases was far less severe.
The second reason attributed for an increase in the population of the country was increasing fertility. A study, published in 1989, of various Parish records placed the average age for marriage for a woman, in the period 1600-49 was 26 years old (28 years for a man) but 1800-49 the figure for a woman was 23.4 for a woman (Male 25.3). The deceased in the age at marriage decreased resulted in an upsurge in fertility as women now had a longer fertile period in marriage. It was also less probable for women to die from disease during marriage.
A Second Child for Francis and Sarah
Around the time Richard reached his first birthday Francis and Sarah had a second child. This child was a girl named ANNE. She was baptised on Friday 22nd October 1762 but Anne’s life had an extremely short life and died very soon after her birth. She was buried two days later on Sunday 24th October in the village church in Lyndon. The record of her baptism and her burial is shown below from the parish records.
1762 – ‘Oct’ 22. Anne, the daughter of Francis Shelacres
and Sarah his Wife was baptised.
Oct 22. Was buried Oct 24th 1762
A Third Child is born
In 1764 records show the baptism of a third child of Francis and Sarah – another girl was was named MARY. She was baptised on Wednesday 15th August 1764. At the time of Mary’s birth two years have passed since the death, in infancy, of the second child Anne. The surviving child, Richard, was approaching his third birthday. The entry for Mary’s baptism on the last two lines of the excerpt below from the Parish records of Lyndon.
1764 August 15th Mary, the Daughter of Francis Shelacres
and Sarah his Wife was baptized.
A Fourth Child for Francis and Sarah
Eight years now pass before another baptism of a child of Francis and Sarah can be found within the Lyndon Parish records. This gap cannot be explained.Possible explanation could be a series of miscarriages or still births. Maybe the father Francis was working elsewhere or even imprisoned – but no evidence can be found of either possibility. This fourth child was a boy who was named WILLIAM and was baptised on Wednesday 28th October 1772. At this time Richard the first born child was around 11 years old and Mary the other surviving child had reached the age of 8 years. The entry for William’s baptism is on on the last three lines of the section below from the Lyndon Parish records.
A Fifth Child for Francis and Sarah
Again there is another unexplained gap between the fourth and fifth child of Francis and Sarah as recorded in the Lyndon Parish records – on this occasion over six years. A baptism of a girl named ANN, took place on Sunday 11th April 1779. This record is shown on the last two lines of the excerpt below. At this time her mother Sarah was around forty years old, her father Francis had reached the age of 46 years. Incidentally the name Ann was also the name of the second child of Francis & Sarah who died within hours of her birth, although the spelling in the record on this occasion is ‘Ann‘ and not ‘Anne‘ as is recorded for the child who died in infancy. This new baby’s had a brother Richard, who was at this time around 18 years old, a sister Mary was 14 years old and a youngest brother, William, who was 6 years old.
Interestingly but maybe not tremendously significant was that the surname recorded of Ann in 1779 and William in 1772 was recorded as ‘Shellaker’ and not ‘Shelacres’ as was the case for the first three children of Francis and Sarah. But as can be clearly seen, from the handwriting, there are three different people entering the record of these births; the first three looks to be the same hand, while the 1772 and 1779 records are entered by new and two different people. And as I have mentioned previously, the parents would not know the ‘correct’ spelling of their own surname. Consequently it was left to whoever entered the record to decide how to record the surname based only how the name was pronounced.
This concludes the records, as found within the Parish records of the Rutland village of Lyndon of the children of Francis and Sarah: Richard, Anne, Mary, William and Ann. Below is a family tree at the time of the birth of Ann in April 1779 which shows Francis and Sarah, their children and the siblings of Francis.
DEATH OF AN UNCLE
In between the birth of the William in 1772 and Ann in 1779 Francis experienced the death of his great uncle, the brother of his Grandfather Richard. Francis’ great-uncle, like himself,was also named Francis and was baptised on the 16th January 1689 in the parish church in Lyndon in Rutland. He was the youngest of the six children of Richard Shelacres & Elizabeth and remained unmarried all of his life.
This man lived to an extremely good age and had reached the age of 86 years when he died on Wednesday 11th September 1776. This man left a Will written on 7th September 1760 when he was around 70 years old. A copy of his Will is on this website – The Last Will & Testament of Francis Shellaker
1776 – Shellaker | Francis Shellaker, aged 86 was
buried September 11th
Next Page: Lyndon – The Fifth & Final Generation